KINGDOM HEARTS 3 REVIEW

MY UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE

I have a confession to make. I have never ever played a Kingdom Hearts game. From the time it was released, it never appealed to me. As the years went by, to my knowledge 17 years, the sequels came and gamers rejoiced, but I never jumped in.

I would see videos here and there, articles and quick mentions in other videos, so I was always aware of it. Then it went quiet for a while. Out of nowhere, Kingdom Hearts 3 announced and then the trailer. News feeds were buzzing and game-play was shown off. I first noticed the graphics, well the style of it. It was also fast and colourful. Also I have been binge watching film theories about Disney movies and they are quite entertaining. So Disney has been on my mind and also Final Fantasy for as long as I can remember.

Long story short, I gave Kingdom Hearts a chance and all I want, is to get the previous games and experience the story from the beginning. I feel like I robbed myself from this great series. I finally understood the hype and the following it has.It is the best of both worlds. Final Fantasy’s style with Disney’s charm. Let us be honest, we all like Disney movies and we all have a favourite or two, I have. It is like being reminded how to be a kid again. For video games that is.

But this is just how I feel about Kingdom Hearts in a very short piece, the game is amazing and I love every minute of it.

WHAT IS KINGDOM HEARTS?

I had no idea either, don’t worry. Luckily, there is videos that briefly tells the story from the first game, so you won’t feel lost and confused, much.

Regardless from my lack of experience with the previous titles, I could follow up till a point because of watching the history first beforehand. Although it started on the PlayStation 2, it has seen multiple different platform releases, Kingdom Hearts 3 being Xbox’s first KH title.

You play as Sora, a young boy traveling between different worlds all set in the Disney universe, with Donald, Goofy, and the world specific character. The graphical quality of each world is perfect as most is from the modern Disney range like Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Pirates of the Caribbean. The one I enjoyed the most was Toy Box, where Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody joins our heroes. Toy Story itself is a childhood favourite The toy store part is particularly interesting as its mostly vertical because of its 3 storey design.

The other worlds feel vastly more open and equally fun to explore. But where Kingdom Hearts 3 truly shines, sometimes quite literally, is in its combat. More often than not, it is always a spectacle of light and colour. You unlock new Keyblades (yes it is a sword shaped like a rather large key) that at first act the same, in terms of hacking and slashing, but all of them have different characteristics when transformed. From a huge toy hammer to homing arrow guns, and then an added Final Move transformation, all are fun but you will have a set as you can only have 3 different Keyblades set. The same goes for magic abilities. Your standard magic spells are present, Fire, Water, Lightning, Blizzard, Wind, and Healing.

During combat situations, you have theme park ride attractions to your disposal that dealing heavy damage over a large area. From Crazy Tea Cups, Splash Ride to even a Carousel, they turn the tide of any battle. As mentioned, each world has you joined by their respective protagonist, and they also have their own special attack for Sora to take part in.

Ok, so how does one go between these worlds? With a really cool retro style space shooter of course. When just minding your business, it controls like most third person flying games, but when in combat, it plays like a typical arcade shooter. You are given the default Gummi Ship, but you can also create your own. It is kept basic and simple to understand and enough space is given to get really creative. This part of transitioning to different worlds gives you full freedom of exploring the area to collect Munny(money), collectables for crafting and so forth.

Other side activities include a treasure hunt for secret emblems in the shape of Disney’s most iconic character, Mickey Mouse. Then there is a small cooking style mini game that have you looking for ingredients, which you then turn into rather delicious looking dishes. Both these activities are passive so you are never solely tasked at looking for this or that, which is great as it never interferes with the flow of the story, it’s purely extra.

Sound wise the game sounds spot on. The music is as nostalgic as it gets, especially in Olympus while helping Hercules save the day. Voice acting is done right, and with a strong cast backing it up, it is like being inside in that world yourself. Even during combat, it sounds magical as you unleash all manner of spells and attacks upon your foes. I will admit the music in some levels does get a bit repetitive, but that hardly deviates from the fun you are having.

SO WHAT IS THE STORY?

Like stated earlier, there are videos to help you catch up, as I got more into Kingdom Hearts 3, I wanted to obtain the other titles, which are also spread multiple platforms, so the story is very convoluted as the games each covered a piece in the greater story. I still did manage to get an idea of what was going on.

The general narrative has moments of being serious, and moments of just being silly, but it is all well-paced. I got about 30+ hours in when finishing the story, but even after that, there is still loads of treasure to look for as you can revisit all the worlds whenever you like.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have truly fallen in love with Kingdom Hearts 3. When passion and talent meets, you get amazing things such as Kingdom Hearts. Two different universes complementing each other in everything it does, Story, Sound and Characters, it comes together beautifully.

I am not sure what message others will get from Kingdom Hearts, but what I got from it,

Friends are important and got to look out for one another.

Rating: 10/10

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